San Sebastian Film Festival Announces its First Latin American Titles

The Chambermaid  by Lila Avilés

The Chambermaid by Lila Avilés

The San Sebastian Film Festival has revealed 13 of the first and second films by European, Asian and Latin American filmmakers set to compete for the Kutxabank-New Directors Award, which includes three Latin American selections: two directed by Argentine filmmakers and one from Mexico.

The Latin American selections are the Mexican film La camarista / The Chambermaid, the debut feature by Lila Avilés, which tells the story of Eve, a young chambermaid working in one of the most luxurious hotels in Mexico City, an exclusive glass tower inhabited by guests so wealthy she can only imagine their lives through intimate fantasies of the belongings they've left behind.

Long, laborious shifts prevent Eve from caring for her child while she helps guests with their own children, but she believes her situation will improve if she gets promoted to work at executive-level suites, for which she accepts a grueling schedule. In keeping with this goal, she also enrolls in the hotel's adult education program.

From Argentina, Inés María Barrionuevo's Julia y el Zorro / Julia and the Fox follows Julia, an ex-actress, and her daughter Emma as they move into a mansion in a village in Córdoba. It is winter and Julia needs to fix up the house so she can sell it. Quite a while has gone by since the death of her husband and Emma’s father, but they are still in mourning. The days go gloomily by. Grief has made Julia quiet and cool with her daughter. One night Julia meets Gaspar, a life-long friend of hers. Gaspar tries to convince Julia to take part in a theatre competition. Julia, Emma and Gaspar find a way to rebuild their lives by starting a rather uncertain project to form a new type of family.

And Para la guerra / To War by Argentine-born director Francisco Marise explores the memory and loneliness of a Cuban former internationalist soldier by observing his body and extraordinary gestures. A bloodless war film without any shooting; a film about a wound, that 'Sledgehammer', ' El Rayado', Andrés, has, this special forces veteran who tries to find his colleagues from the commando that survived their last mission 30 years ago. 

The remaining titles making up the New Directors section will be announced in the coming weeks. The 66th edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival will take place September 21-29 in Spain.